CAPE TOWN- Medical experts and researchers are raising several questions about immunity to coronavirus and how long the immune responses protect the host from reinfection.
A 25-year-old man from Nevada in the United States was reinfected with Covid-19 48 days after his initial positive test. The man has since recovered for the second time, however, he said his second infection was worse than the first.
The Nevada man who is considered an essential worker with no known immune disorders, is one of only 22 documented cases of reinfection worldwide since the start of the pandemic. It remains unclear how many reinfections there have actually been as many may not have known about their reinfection.
An academic study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases found that the patient had positive Covid-19 antibodies after his reinfection, however, researchers could not determine whether he had pre-existing antibody after the first infection.
Infected twice in two months
- On 25 March, the patient started feeling ill, with a sore throat, cough, headache, nausea and diarrhea
- He went for testing on April 18 where he tested positive for the first time
- On April 27, his symptoms had all resolved and he felt fine.
- He tests negative for the virus on 9 and 26 May
- On May 31, he went to an urgent care center, reporting fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea and diarrhea
- He tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time on June 5. He was hypoxic (low blood oxygen) and experienced shortness of breath
While the Nevada man has recovered, his case raises questions about how long people are protected after being infected with the Covid-19 and potentially how protective a vaccine might be.
— Prof. Akiko Iwasaki (@VirusesImmunity) October 13, 2020
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